BEES CAN LIVE WITH PRES­SURE – SMITH

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James An­drew

BRENT­FORD man­ager Dean Smith in­sists his side will not buckle un­der the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion dur­ing their lat­est pro­mo­tion push.

The Bees are fully ex­pected to once again be in the mix at the top end of the Cham­pi­onship come May, par­tic­u­larly af­ter se­cur­ing three suc­ces­sive top-ten fin­ishes in as many sea­sons.

Smith, who took over at Grif­fin Park late in 2015, has no qualms with Brent­ford be­ing tipped for suc­cess this term.

“There is no ex­tra pres­sure be­cause the pres­sure has al­ways been there – from the play­ers and coach­ing staff – to go and de­liver per­for­mances,” said the 46-year-old.

“It is a very close-knit group. It is a re­ally good foot­ball club to be at and we are all, in­clud­ing the fans, push­ing in the same di­rec­tion.

“There’s al­ways been a pres­sure that we put on our­selves and I would feel we haven’t re­cruited well if the play­ers weren’t putting pres­sure on them­selves.

“The aim of the foot­ball club is to get to the Premier League.

“The drive and the en­ergy is there for all to see at the mo­ment. We have to main­tain that. It can’t be a four or five-week spell. It has to be a 46-game spell.”

POS­I­TIVE: Dean Smith

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